Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. We take time to visit and celebrate with family and friends. It is a joyful time of the year, but sometimes it can be stressful. Here are 5 ways to gain peace at Christmas.
- Peace is a Person
- Experience Wholesome Satisfaction
- Adjust Your Expectations
- Expand Your Guard
Peace is a Person
The Prince of Peace is a Person. He is the Wonderful Counselor and the Mighty God.1 When we draw near to the Prince of Peace, He draws near to us.2 When we experience difficulties, He is with us.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] ~John 16:33AMPC
For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] ~Hebrews 13:5b AMPC
Experience Wholesome Satisfaction
We can experience wholesome satisfaction by daily practicing gratitude. When we are thankful, show appreciation, and are grateful, we feel happier and healthier.
“We can practice gratitude like any other skill. We can practice being more grateful. When we think about the good things in our life, it helps us feel happier and healthier. Gratitude and appreciation help us see the world in a more positive way.”3
It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy. ~David Steindel-Rast
Adjust Your Expectations
Choose peace over perfection. We can ask God what our focus needs to be during this season. As we walk with God, we receive His peace, share His peace with others, and release the rest. It is so freeing!
Say no to holiday stress, fancy gifts, and chaos. Pace your cooking, decorating, travel, and other Christmas responsibilities. Invest in relationships but pace your serving in the home and outside the home, so you stay in a place of heart peace and soul rest. Say yes to gifts from the heart whether store bought or homemade, be free to be creative.
How do you celebrate stress free?
- Pace yourself. Refuse unrealistic expectations. You can’t be three different places at the same time. Organize your December schedule so that it is realistic, manageable, and peaceful.
- Permission granted. You have permission to say “no” to activities that will steal your time and drain your energy.
- Plan and share. You can serve others, yet refuse chaos by planning ahead, and delegating some responsibilities to others.
- Perfect to peaceful. You can forgo tasks that are overbearing and taxing.
To be Christ-centered life “revolves around the character of Christ. Our focus is on becoming more like Jesus rather than acquiring fame and fortune for ourselves. A.W. Tozar wrote that ‘the goal of every Christian [needs] to be to live in a state of unbroken worship,’ and the Christ-centered person finds this a delightful goal.”4
When we are rooted in our position in Christ, we walk in power of His Holy Spirit, and exhibit the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.5
By letting God guide us like an unseen GPS, He gives coordinates, and we respond by giving, going, and sometimes staying and being still before Him.
A life of delight and obedience to Christ is a life of peace, freedom and joy. And from this place of freedom, we give to others.
We can respond, instead of reacting to the stranger cutting in line, the obnoxious neighbor, or toxic family member. We can forgive, bless and serve them in love. We can share the love, joy, and peace of God with others – as a free gift, expecting nothing in return. Guard against strife in your relationships. Christ has filled us, and we share His love as a gift of love to those around us.
Expand Your Guard
Prayer expands peace’s protection over our hearts and minds.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
Take time to give thanks and praise the Lord.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB
We can give Him our concerns.
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:7 NASB
We can give Him thanks, we can give Him our concerns and requests, and then the Prince of Peace will give us God’s peace, and His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We can live in a place of peace and rest.
We can trust our Prince of Peace to move us from the strife of perfection to a place of peace in our hearts, we can delight and obey Christ, following the Holy Spirit like an unseen GPS, giving thanks, and trusting Him to guard our hearts and minds because we have given Him all our cares through prayer. We can live in Christ’s freedom. We can live in peace at Christmas and throughout the whole year.
1 Isaiah 9:6
2 James 4:8a
3 Grateful People Are Happy and Healthy – But Why? Published on Kids.frontiersin.org. Written by Anna Alkozei, Ryan Smith, William D. S. Killgore. Retrieved December 6, 2021 from https://kids.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frym.2017.00055
4 What Does it mean to be God-centered? Published on gotquestions.org Retrieved December 7, 2021 from https://www.gotquestions.org/God-centered.html
5 Galatians 5:22-23
Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
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